Fall Guide: Sarah Anne Johnson Conjures a Mind-Control Center
By Robert Shuster 9/8/09
In 1956, Johnson's maternal grandmother, Velma Orlikow, sought help for her severe postpartum depression at Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute, a hospital housed inside a Gothic mansion formerly called (the name is pure grade-B Hollywood) Ravenscrag. In fact, real horror did await: Orlikow and other patients had no idea that they'd been lured into the world of MK-ULTRA—a secret program, funded by the CIA, to develop brutal methods for mind control. At the hands of a doctor (and brainwashing specialist) named Ewen Cameron, Orlikow endured years of torture, involving, Johnson says, "shock treatment way past the recommended levels" and "crazy cocktails of drugs, including LSD mixed with speed." She didn't escape, Johnson explains, because "back then, you didn't doubt your doctor," then adds, dolefully, "I think she fell in love with him." Another glance into that dollhouse reveals two clay figures inside a snow cave: the stout Orlikow, naked with a bag on her head, dancing with Cameron. "I always knew I was going to make work about this," says Johnson, whose family didn't discover the truth until 1977, a year after Johnson's birth, when Orlikow's husband read an exposé in The New York Times. More facts emerged as Orlikow spearheaded a class-action suit against the CIA (settled out of court, after her death, in 1988), but as a young artist, Johnson initially found the story too complex to take on.
Mackenzie Phillips Highlights the Impact of Incest - By Deborah Huso 9/09
Thomas Nagy, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine says he believes most incidents of incest never come to light and, as a result, countless individuals go without treatment. He also states that it's impossible to say that incest that continues into adulthood is necessarily conducted on a consensual level. "When the victim encounters that abuser again in adulthood, in that moment, they've dissociated into an adolescent mindset again," he points out. That's why it's so important for victims of abuse to seek and stick with therapy for the long haul. "These victims have to grow boundaries and learn how to find a sense of self again." "It's always traumatic in the long run," Nagy adds, whether the incest begins when a child is six or 17. "It's child abuse, and there is no such thing as consensual sex with a child."....If victims don't seek treatment, whether children or adults, long-term impacts can be many and may include everything from depression and substance abuse to nightmares, withdrawal and promiscuity. "The effects vary depending on age and whether or not the relationship was long-term," Borys adds (Debra Borys, Ph.D., a Los-Angeles-based therapist). The most common adult response to past incestuous sexual abuse, says Nagy, is the development of delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder. "Adult victims will almost certainly have mood disorders as well as physical disorders like gastrointestinal problems or chronic pain," he explains.